E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Convertible

E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-14-2016, 07:45 PM   #1
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
Top wont close

Hi all,

Pulled into parking with my top down and went to put it up, windows went down as per normal, but the compartment didnt open and nothinf further happened.

Light was solid red while holding the button, 2004 330Ci. What should i be checking?

Thanks!
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 07-14-2016, 10:06 PM   #2
All2kool
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 243
My Ride: 2002 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by maynardflies View Post
Hi all,

Pulled into parking with my top down and went to put it up, windows went down as per normal, but the compartment didnt open and nothinf further happened.

Light was solid red while holding the button, 2004 330Ci. What should i be checking?

Thanks!
The wiring harness above your head at the bend point. Very common for any of the wires in there to break. Easy fix.


Last edited by All2kool; 07-14-2016 at 10:09 PM.
All2kool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 12:11 AM   #3
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
Thanks for the quick reply!

I managed to get it closed manually, so i'll check those wires on the weekend and see if anything is awry there.

Some questions I have

1. Can I pull any codes for the CVM with INPA?
2. The roof was down i.e. stowed and I tried to close it. but this video is more about the top retracting only halfway when opening the roof, is it a similar problem for when you're trying to close the roof and the compartment doesn't open?
3. When I pushed the button to close the roof, I did hear a faint clicking or motor sound but not what I usually hear, and the storage compartment didn't unlatch. Could that type of fault be caused by a wire break in the roof itself?
4. Other than a break in the wires, what else should I look for in this type of fault?
5. Do I need to do anything before I try and put the roof down again with the automatic mode, like re-sync motors?

Thanks a lot!

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-15-2016 at 12:13 AM.
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 12:38 AM   #4
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 2,335
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
Afaik you can check the codes with INPA, although I have never done it.

Hold the open or close button until it starts flashing. Once it does, a code is stored and will help figure out what operation didn't happen.

Have you tried it since manually closing it?
__________________
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 09:28 AM   #5
All2kool
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 243
My Ride: 2002 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by maynardflies View Post
Thanks for the quick reply!

I managed to get it closed manually, so i'll check those wires on the weekend and see if anything is awry there.

Some questions I have

1. Can I pull any codes for the CVM with INPA?
2. The roof was down i.e. stowed and I tried to close it. but this video is more about the top retracting only halfway when opening the roof, is it a similar problem for when you're trying to close the roof and the compartment doesn't open?
3. When I pushed the button to close the roof, I did hear a faint clicking or motor sound but not what I usually hear, and the storage compartment didn't unlatch. Could that type of fault be caused by a wire break in the roof itself?
4. Other than a break in the wires, what else should I look for in this type of fault?
5. Do I need to do anything before I try and put the roof down again with the automatic mode, like re-sync motors?

Thanks a lot!
1. You can pull the CVM Codes with PA Soft, don't know about INPA.
2. Mine had a severed GREEN wire and did what yours did - No Flashing, No Movement, but it failed just before finishing the close.
3. Can't say.
4. I've seen posts here that replacing the CVM solved the issue. Seen good used CVM's on EBay for under $50.
5. I don't believe so.

Last edited by All2kool; 07-15-2016 at 09:29 AM.
All2kool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 10:13 AM   #6
dknightd
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 1,346
My Ride: 2002 330 cic
clicking under rear seat.
sounds like your cover latch release motor gear is loose.

see in http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1073144
dknightd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 08:31 PM   #7
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
thanks for all the great replies everyone!

So I tried it briefly today after getting home. Here's the breakdown

1) pressed open button, top unlatched from windshield, moved up a few centimeters and slowly stopped
2) pressed close button, top slowly re-latched to the windshield.
3) Pressed open button again, top slowly moved up a few centimeters again and stopped, but after a few seconds began to retract. Slower than usual, but cover opened and top began to retract fully. At this point I didn't want to risk stowing it fully again (I did a little trim damage last night closing it manually ) so I stopped
4) pressed close button, top slowly moved back into position but DID NOT LATCH. It was trying to, the last stage where the front of the top pushes down into the latches looked like it didn't have enough juice to push it down all the way
5) tried a few more times to hit the close button but same result, top wouldn't actually latch, it tried and tried but didn't have the gumption!
6) tried to open again and the top wouldn't move
7) held down the close button a while longer to see if it would finally shut. I heard motors whirring and clicking, but no movement beyond the top pushing down a couple cm but not making it into the latches

throughout all this, I heard the familiar whines, groans, whirrs, and clicks that I usually hear when opening the roof, but they were much lower pitch and slower, like they were struggling or labored. The top operated much slower than usual and as I said eventually stopped operating at the close cycle (except for it TRYING to finish closing but not having the strength to) and wouldn't open again. the only unfamiliar sound was during 4,5,7 when I was closing the top but it wouldn't fully close, the motors whirring and clicking quietly but not moving the top.

This is starting to sound less electrical and more mechanical/hydraulic. Do you guys agree?

What should I do next?

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-15-2016 at 08:56 PM.
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 11:17 PM   #8
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 2,335
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
Sounds like a few problems:
1. Your pump is likely on the way out, or you have a hydraulic leak and the pump is struggling to pressurize the system.
2. The motor for the front latches is struggling. Likely cause the front latches are broken. I haven't read of anyone having problems with the motor itself (aside from the gears breaking).
__________________
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2016, 11:38 PM   #9
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
thanks taylor192. One thing to note is that the latches themselves never struggle, it's the final movement of the top itself that is struggling.

The top isn't able to move itself close enough to the latch holes on the windshield to engage the latches, rather than the latches themselves being unable to engage properly

One thought I had, my battery is kind of weedy and dies quite easily, could this possibly be caused by a bad battery?

Should I start at the pump then, and look for obvious leaks there, or is it best to rule out leaks elsewhere? or maybe check the fluid level, fill the pump up, operate the top a couple times, and look for leaks on the ground?

I've been reading the Convertible Top Manual. Lots to understand!

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-15-2016 at 11:43 PM.
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2016, 11:54 AM   #10
taylor192
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 2,335
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
You'll need to define "final movement" during closing.

The hydraulics push the top a few inches from the windshield, then the electric latches pull the top to the windshield and secure it.

The "latches" are actually an electric motor that turn 2 assemblies that control 2 sets of latches. The first set of latches is obvious, they secure the top to the windshield. The second set are less obvious, at the "first bend" and pull the top towards the windshield. The latch mechanism could be broken causing the second set of latches not to pull the soft top to the windshield. See the Start Here READ ME for a link to repairing the latches. It shows how to check if the latches are broken without disassembling the top.

Or it could just be the battery.

Unfortunately fixing the top isn't a straight forward "this is wrong, this is the fix". You'll need to try a few things.
__________________
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2016, 01:48 PM   #11
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
understood. What I meant was that the "final movement" which actually pulls the top to the windshield before the first set of latches closes and secures the top. it does however appear to be TRYING to move the top into place, but it's unable to get it all the way down so that the first set of latches grabs the windshield. If they were broken, would that last few inches of movement absolutely not happen at all, or would it be like it is with my car, where it looks like it starts to move, then slows and stops and cant seem to get it all the way down? Does that sound more likely to be a hydraulic or electrical deficiency?
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2016, 10:06 PM   #12
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
I believe I've tracked the problem down to the Top Cover Storage Compartment Motor. If you look at my videos, you'll see that at the stages where the top needs to lock or unlock the storage compartment, the motor fails and the top can't progress

The opening_edited video shows how the top opens all the way up until it needs to latch the storage compartment and it fails. I think I had to hit the button a couple of times to get the compartment to open but it eventually did, but then on locking did what the video shows.

On the closing cover off video, you can see I have to hit the button three times to get the motor to complete the unlock cycle (but it stops in between, which is odd), and then the cover opens and the top deploys, but as the top starts to approach the windshield, the motor starts to move and fail, presumably trying to lock the storage cover

on the closing stuck cover off video, you can see the motor continue failing. This is during that "final movement" I was referring to. My theory now is that when I hit the button, the system pressurizes and the latches start to move a little bit, but because the rear compartment isn't locking, the computer is not allowing the hydraulics to complete the top shutting procedure.

After locking the cover manually, however, the top finished closing with the button as normal, no struggling.

At this point it seems like I need a new motor, unless anyone has any ideas of what to look at in the motor itself? I have read a bunch of threads about the middle gear slipping because of the top not providing enough downward pressure, but you can see even with the motor cover off, that gear isn't slipping, the motor itself is failing to move.

Any ideas? Suggestions?

Thanks!

Videos here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?...1E&usp=sharing

EDIT: One thing to note, when attempting to close, the same thing happened as before, which is basically nothing. I unlocked the compartment using the allen key, but the top still wouldn't operate. I had to move the top out of the compartment by hand and lock the compartment with the key again. After that, I was able to finish closing the top with the button

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-16-2016 at 10:11 PM.
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2016, 09:51 AM   #13
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
This unit looks promising to fix my issue, if the gears are clicking like that, surely the motor driving them is failing

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/151888960306?...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I've heard something about a white plastic gear in this motor, I may try to disassemble it to see if I can confirm. I thought there was some post out there that showed this broken white gear but now I can't find it. If anyone knows what I'm talking about or knows some videos that might be helpful let me know.
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2016, 12:21 AM   #14
maynardflies
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 56
My Ride: 04 330Ci convertible
So the issue did turn out to be the white plastic gear in the motor itself. I flipped it around and ground it down to fit the motor casing and it works fine now.

I've posted a DIY to hopefully help others in this situation. I would say that if you have the clicking under your seat, and it's NOT related to the gear popping out (e.g. you put pressure on it and it doesn't help), this should be the next thing to check. It could end up being the difference between $400, and $44 dollars.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=17023891

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-18-2016 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Simplified the link
maynardflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2016 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use